Well, the board is either fixed, or it's going to run terribly. Cross your fingers and hope for the best. I'm at my technical limit right now.

Need Lebel Parts To Copy

Les Fusils Militaires Français, Chassepot, Gras, Lebel, Berthier et MAS 36
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SWIHARTMARK
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Need Lebel Parts To Copy

#1 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:07 pm

I somehow misplaced some metal parts from a Lebel rifle's fore end while I had the fore end's wood professionally repaired. I'm a machinist by trade and think I can make those parts from scratch if I had originals to go from. I need the front and rear band springs as well as the cartridge guide that slides into the fore end and attaches to the action, as well as the cartridge follower that is attached to the tube magazine spring and slides into the cartridge guide. Please let me know if you can help. I will gladly pay for shipping. I plan to make some proper blue prints so they can be remade in the future if need be as well. I really need to know the proper dimensions within something like .005 of an inch for a proper fit. I'm pretty sure the cartridge guide can be made by turning and boring a piece of steel and then epoxying it to a part made to fit to the action and slide into the fore end. The band springs can be made by press fitting properly sized pins into an equally properly cut piece of steel to hold them with and thin enough to bend allowing the rifle bands to be held into place properly.

These pieces are fairly easy to make fortunately. Luckily, I don't need anything hard to remanufacture because loads of rifle parts require jigs and fixtures, especially bolts and the parts often attached to them.

If you are wiling, I can copy some pictures from Numrich to show you want I am taking about. If you haven't noticed, Numrich does not have the parts, but at least they got the pictures of them.

Your help would be greatly appreciated. My Lebel was sent to the arsenal for repairs three times from the serial numbers on the bottom of the receiver, so this is a labor of love. The fore end had a master craftsman enjoy the challenge of not only fixing the outside, but also the inside for the tube magazine. This French lady now has more character than most anything I own.

Best Regards,

Mark

BTW, yeah I looked at Ebay and Gunbroker, but odds are I could make them faster than one or any of them will pop up for sale. So far my machining is better than what I have bought from Starline brass concerning 7.65mm French long pistol brass. I'm really seething over that one.

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Re: Need Lebel Parts To Copy

#2 Post by kelt » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:26 am

Drawning made by Gunboard member SANGLE
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tubedim3 (2019_07_11 12_59_51 UTC).jpg

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Re: Need Lebel Parts To Copy

#3 Post by kelt » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:57 am

24397ad0 (2019_07_11 12_59_51 UTC).jpg

SWIHARTMARK
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Re: Need Lebel Parts To Copy

#4 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:31 pm

Mercy. That's exactly what I needed. Hope to begin work on making them soon.

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: Need Lebel Parts To Copy

#5 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:22 pm

Working on the magazine piston stop tube using some 303 stainless steel now. The bore isn't complete, but it does slip fit into the fore arm just right. Hope to CNC the bottom piece to exact size and then epoxy them together. I'll file in some notches to give the glue a place to hold. Solder doesn't look like a good option to me. I might even use some pins to hold it together as well.

Anybody know where these prints came from? I cannot read all the dimensions, including some critical ones. The fore end does provide enough detail to reverse engineer the band springs....I think.

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: Need Lebel Parts To Copy

#6 Post by Charles Lipscomb » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:40 pm

Google image search is pretty cool. I can't say if this has the information you are looking for.
http://tar-loisirs.centerblog.net/m/rub ... 8693-.html
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SWIHARTMARK
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Re: Need Lebel Parts To Copy

#7 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:40 pm

I shall try that myself. I did look at google images for Lebel prints, but didn't find what I could use. I did find my cell phone has better displays than my computer when I zoom in. I got a better idea on some dimensions now. I would have never guessed that one. Oh well, time to get some sleep so I can go to work and figure out what some engineer wants me to make for them. If they only had to make stuff for themselves, they would make better prints. Argh, growl, argh.

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: Need Lebel Parts To Copy

#8 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:53 pm

Made the magazine piston stop tube and lower assembly piece, but still have to epoxy it together. Also working on the band springs by hand fitting them to the stock. Slow, but rewarding work.

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: Need Lebel Parts To Copy

#9 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:46 pm

I hand fitted the magazine piston into the magazine tube today. It was a loose slip fit and then I put the assembly into the action and the lift gate had no interference, so that was a good sign. The magazine piston is still a solid shape, but I cut the contours and steps on it and took it to length. I still have to drill the pin hole and then the hole for the spring. I also made two magazine stop tube retaining springs, one brass, one cold rolled steel. I do prefer the brass one, but it certainly isn't standard issue. I still have to epoxy the assembly together and make it all fit into the fore end, but right now it all fits pretty good. I hope epoxy doesn't expand much since the fit in the forend is reasonably nice tight slip fit. Everything goes in just fine and doesn't fall out.

The band springs are next. Making those .100 pins should be a challenge. 3/32nd dowel pins are a hair too small, so I'll make three of the .100 ones. I might use brass for this, but who knows. Cold rolled steel would likely be a better choice. I did begin making some bands last week, but I bend one while I was taking it down to size. This week I decided to just play with a lathe instead. The pins will be press fit into the band springs, so the hole in the springs will be .002 smaller than the pin diameter. I might use .003 larger brass since it should take the hole better as it looks more forgiving. Who knows? I will see what scrap is laying around to work with.

So far this hasn't been too bad. I haven't CNCed anything, nor do I really have to. Luckily, I don't have to mess with some other parts that do require a good deal of filtering. You can program a CNC mill to do loads of shapes, but you still have to hold the piece with something while you cut it. Last time I heard, there are several thousand pounds per square inch when a carbide tool cuts steel. Barrel bands, bolts, and other complex mechanisms were likely done on an assembly line of sorts with each worker doing a very specific task usually working with a dedicated fixture to hold the piece in place while it was cut. Also, some parts were cast from molds and polished up to fit. This is something still done today since doing a custom job on one part would be hard to accomplish, not to mention time consuming to say the least.

Here's hoping I get all this done by next week. I'm under the weather now, so going into the shop tomorrow is out of the question. Yes, I do hand fit the part right by the machine I'm working on. I can only imagine this is how Lugers were assembled as they were all hand fitted I read. Lots of filing, honing, and grinding I imagine. I can tell by the lack of tool marks on a lot of antique components I've seen over the years on various guns I have. Now wartime production doesn't always have the same fit and finish. I can see where the teeth of an end mill finished machining on my No1 MkII Enfield revolver made in late 1942. I kinda like that character in a fire arm. I do have a 1864 Snider-Enfield conversion rifle from the Enfield arsenal that has no noticeable tool marks and it is incredible work. My stuff by comparison is a hack job, but that usually happens your first go at something.

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: Need Lebel Parts To Copy

#10 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:34 pm

I managed to make it out to the shop this morning and I finished off all the parts. As it stands I'll need to hand fit the pins for all the parts and grind them down to a proper length. I'm guessing I'll have to blue the bands before I glue them together, but that's okay. The front band spring's wood will have to allow more movement, but that's pretty minor. All and all a nice project more or less completed.

Best Regards,

Mark

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